Retirement is a wonderful thing. I haven’t really waxed lyrical about it on this blog but I do to everyone who is willing to listen. It is the time to do all those things you didn’t have time to when you were working. I don’t want to bore you with the details of my previous existence, except to say, there wasn’t much spare time ….
This recipe caught my eye when it appeared in Cuisine magazine in 2008 and, now I am retired, I have finally made it. It lived up to all my expectations.
It is the recipe I will make at every opportunity this coming summer. So friends, beware …
The recipe was featured in Cuisine, Issue 128, May 2008. Jane Bland, a reader, wrote into the magazine, saying that she had this dish at Vilagrad Winery and loved it. She requested Cuisine obtain the recipe. Vilagrad’s chef, Kristian Nooyen, was happy to share it.
These quantities will serve 4 as a main.
For the salad mix:
- ¾ cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and then cooked until tender with ½ teaspoon turmeric. I peel the chickpeas which, I know, many consider loopy. I just think they taste so much better peeled. If you decide to peel them (don’t tell your friends, otherwise, they will think you are loopy, too) keep the chickpeas in their cooking fluid whilst you are doing it. The skins come off so much easier if the chickpeas are in fluid. If this is all too hard: two cups of canned chickpeas.
- 1 medium beetroot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 1 thumb fresh ginger, very thinly sliced
- ½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup coriander leaves
Toss all the ingredients together in a salad bowl.
For the nut mix:
- 2 cups of a mixture of peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. I used 1½ cup nuts (¾ cup each of peanuts and cashews) and ½ cup of mixed sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 25g chilled butter, grated or finely chopped
- Mix the sugar, salt, cumin, coriander and chilli powder in a small bowl then set aside.
- The recipe says to bake the nuts and seeds for 5 minutes at 180°C then sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture. If you are using roasted cashews and roasted peanuts, I would only roast the seeds then add the nuts and sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture.
- Sprinkle the butter over the nuts and seeds and bake for 10 more minutes, stirring often. Set aside to cool.
For the dressing and to serve:
- 3 tbs balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- Mix all the ingredients (except the coriander leaves) together.
- Toss the vinaigrette and ⅔ of the nut mixture with the salad.
- Garnish with the remaining nuts and coriander leaves.